President Obama has canceled his trip to Indonesia and Brunei, which was scheduled to start this weekend, and is blaming congressional Republicans for prolonging a government shutdown that forced him to change his travel plans.
"The cancelation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government," Press Secretary Jay Carney said in an email to reporters Thursday night. "This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. The president looks forward to continuing his work with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific and to returning to the region at a later date."
Carney added: "The president made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government."
Secretary of State John Kerry is to lead U.S. delegations to both Indonesia and Brunei in place of the president.
Obama had been scheduled to leave Washington this weekend to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Bali, Indonesia, and the ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Brunei.
Earlier this week, Obama cancelled visits to Malaysia and the Philippines, which had been the final two stops on the Asia trip.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.